Jewett, Erastus W.
Age: 23, credited to St. Albans, VTVITALS
Birth: 04/01/1839, St. Albans, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Church Street Cemetery, Swanton, VT
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|This soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor|
Erastus W. Jewett
Rank and Organization: 1st Lieut., Co. A, 9th Vermont Infantry.
Place and date: Newport Barracks, NC, 2 Feb 1864.
Entered service at: St. Albans.
Born: St. Albans, Apr 1, 1839.
Died: 20 Feb 1906.
Buried: Church Street Cemetery, Swanton, VT
Date of Issue: 8 Sep 1891.
Citation: By long and persistent resistance and burning the bridges kept a superior force of the enemy at a distance and thus covered the retreat of the garrison.
Erastus Jewett was born on April 1, 1839, in St. Albans, Vermont, seventh child, and fifth son of Eleazer and Dorothy (Abells) Jewett. He married twice, first to Fannie Brigham, in 1862, who gave him four children: Jesse, Mary, Nellie and Walter. Fannie died in 1882, and he subsequently married Edna Clark Lawrence, in 1897.
He enlisted on June 1, 1862, in Swanton, in Company A, 9th Vermont Infantry. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on June 14, 1862, and promoted to 1st Lieutenant on May 24, 1863. He served two years and eight months, resigning on November 28, 1864.
The 9th Regiment saw action in the following battles while Erastus was a member: Harper's Ferry, Va., Sept. 13 and 15, 1862; Newport Barracks, Va., Feb. 2, 1864; Chapin's Farm (Chaffin's Farm), Va., Sept. 29, 1864 and Fair Oaks, Va., Oct. 27, 1864.
Lt. Jewett was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for action at Newport Barracks, Virginia. Fighting for three hours one and a half miles north of the Newport River, his troops fell back to the south side of the river to Newport. He was ordered with his company to act as a rear guard and to hold and burn the railroad across the river, to check and hold the Confederates till the bridge had burned. He held the bridge with seventy men and kept in check a large force of Confederate soldiers and one battery that shelled his position. He kept them on the north side of the river and saved the regiment from capture.
Erastus was one of three Jewett brothers who served in the Civil War. His elder brother, Albert B., served first as 1st Lieutenant in Co. A, 1st Regiment, during its term of service. He was mustered in colonel of the 10th Regiment, Sept. 1, 1862, and continued in command until Apr. 25, 1864, when he resigned. Erastus' younger brother, Jesse, was mustered into service as 2nd Lt of Company C, Sept 16, 1861. He was promoted to 1st Lt Dec. 10, 1862, and Captain of company K, Mar. 21, 1863. He resigned May 29, 1863.
After the war, Lt. Jewett was commissioned General Inspector of the National Guard of Vermont, of the rifle practice, with the rank of Colonel in the years 1882-1892, and was the Department Commander, Department of Vermont, GAR, in 1897. Erastus died in Burlington from a heart attack on February 20, 1906. He was 67 years old. He is buried in the Church Street Cemetery in Swanton.
(This chronology, researched by Lyndy Foster and Tom Ledoux, is extracted from the Oct-Dec 1996 edition of "Swanton Heritage," quarterly newsletter of the Swanton Historical Society, and is used with permission.)
See also: Beyer and Keydel, 301.
NARA File Number: R&P 296635.
DEATH OF COL. JEWETT.
A death which came as a great shock to his comrades in the G.A.R. was that of Col. Erastus W. Jewett of Burlington, who passed away suddenly at 8 P.M. Feb. 20. He had been with his comrades during the day and was on his way to the campfire in the evening about 7 o'clock when he was taken ill and returned home. Whether he had a stroke of apoplexy or whether his heart failed him will probably never be known, but Mrs. Jewett is inclined to the latter theory.
He was born in St. Albans, April 1, 1839, and was a direct descendant of continental heroes.
His grandfather, Thomas Jewett of Bennington, at the battle of Bennington, Aug. 16, 1777, took the sword from the hand of Colonel Baum at the surrender of the British army. Colonel Jewett enlisted in Co. A, 9th Vt. Vols., and was commissioned second lieutenant in that company June 14, 1862. He was promoted to be a first lieutenant May 24, 1863, and resigned his commission Nov. 21, 1864. He received a medal of honor from the acting secretary of war for gallantry and valor at the battle of Newport Barracks, Feb. 2, 1864. While commanding his company he held the Confederates back and burned the railroad bridge, thereby assisting materially in preventing the Union troops from capture.
He gained his title by the appointment to the staff of the late Governor Levi K. Fuller, as inspector of rifle practice. He was a department commander of the Vermont G.A.R.in 1897.
West Randolph Herald and News, March 1, 1906.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.